Download managers have been around for ages, helping us cope with not-always-reliable connections and enabling us to pause and resume downloads at will. This by itself is a blessing even in the age of permanent, fast connections. But a further problem arises when using an iOS device.
Not only does the built-in downloader in Safari not natively support pause and resume, the process of trying to grab a file and simply download it becomes a hassle. Here is where download managers such as Meteoric come in handy.
Meteoric is much more than just a download manager – it has its own built in browser, media player and can sync with numerous services. The free version supports downloads of up to 2MB, but the full version comes with the easy-to-swallow price tag of $1.99 (or $2.99 for the HD, iPad version). Let’s see what it can do.
There are several possible ways to download using Meteoric. The first and most obvious one is to click the download link. But there isn’t always a download link. What then?
First, you can try a long tap on the item you wish to download. This opens a force-download menu from which you can choose “Download”. You can also choose to copy the link URL to use in the next method.
If this doesn’t work, you can download manually using the URL. Tap the manual download icon on the top right. The URL will either automatically appear in the dialog or you will have to copy and paste it manually.
If this too fails, don’t despair! Click the small plugin icon to the left of the address bar (the one that looks like a puzzle pieces), and a whole new world of awesome plugins will open at the bottom of your screen. For this purpose, choose “List all Links”.
This will open a new page with only links in it. You should now be able to access the video/audio (or whichever) link you were looking for, and start downloading simply by tapping it.
Either way, when you start a download you will get the chance to choose the name of the file. You can ignore this and Meteoric will give it the default name.
At any time, you can access your downloads manager and view all in-progress and finished downloads. From here you can also access the file manager, which we will look at later.
You can easily transfer the files you download to your computer. There are numerous ways to do this, such as Dropbox, e-mail and good old iTunes. When you plug your device, launch iTunes and click on your device. Go to the Apps tab, scroll down to File Sharing, choose Meteoric from the list and you will be able to access all your downloaded files.
Managing and Playing
As mentioned earlier, Meteoric tries to provide a sort of all-in-one solution. The file manager is easy to use and organize, and you can create folders and arrange things as you see fit. You can also easily delete and rename files.
Long tap on a file to access this context menu. From here you can move the file, open it using other applications, or e-mail it. You can also link Meteoric to Dropbox from here for easy file transfer to multiple computers.
Each file comes with an icon according to its file type. Tapping on the file will open a “preview”, which actually allows you to view the file. If you can’t open a file in preview, it might be due to the file’s extension. Try renaming it and adding .mp4, for example. This way, I managed to turn an unopenable file into a working video file.
Meteoric also comes complete with a built-in media player, but for some reason I couldn’t manage to play videos in it (the files were working in other players). I did manage to use it for audio files, though. You can easily create playlists and listen to music right within Meteoric.
I haven’t even scratched the surface of what Meteoric can do. A quick look at the settings reveals a plethora of options to play with. You can pretty much customize every aspect of the app, including which browser it should try to imitate.
There are also multiple plugins for social sharing, converters, and even an option to sync to Firefox.
If you feel a bit lost, there’s an extensive FAQ which you can access at any time by lightly scrolling down and releasing. This will load a “Magic bar” which contains a help button.
There’s no doubt that Meteoric turns a sometimes impossible task into an easy one. If you’re a regular downloader and you’d like to use your iOS device for this purpose, Meteoric is well worth the effort (and money).
I did find it a bit hard to deal with at first. The interface is well thought out, but it still takes some time to get everything working just right. When it does, Meteoric is a great addition to any download-loving iOS user.
What do you think of Meteoric? Know of a better way to download files on iOS devices? Please share in the comments!